Monday, June 20, 2011

Toronto Star shines on The Meagre Tarmac

Here's an excerpt from Nathan Whitlock's review of The Meagre Tarmac, from yesterday's Sunday Star:

"The book's overarching theme is that of the ambiguous successes of immigrant Indians in America, a horse you'd have thought would be almost unrecognizable by now for all its postmortem literary beatings. (The collection's most overtly satiric story, “A Connie da Cunha” book, even acknowledges the trendiness of immigrant stories.)

Yet Blaise makes something surprisingly fresh out of this material, helped in no small part by his dense and dryly funny prose. The first time through, it is the cultural, geographical, and historical scope of the stories that most impresses. On subsequent readings, the precise observations and wickedly subtle jokes come to the fore.

Many authors, believing that people-sized stories are no longer adequate, struggle to cram the Modern World into their fictions. Blaise does so here with enviable skill, without ever letting us forget that these characters are just as human as they are cultural archetype. Though it does not even reach 200 pages in length, this book is anything but meagre."

Full-text available here.

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